November 18, 2010

Some people just love to squeeze into narrow, dark, and convoluted spaces.   If that descriptions fits you, then the Bryce Canyon region is the right place for some excellent slot canyon exploration.  The term canyoneering is frequently used in this region to describe the act of exploring slot canyons.   Canyoneering can entail a variety of activities, but most often it involves hiking through canyons, and it also may include some rappelling and rock scrambling.  When you are exploring a slot canyon it is requisite that you understand some important basics about these types of experiences. In this region, sandstone slot canyons are formed by the flow of water.  Wind can also have some impact, but winter snow-melt or irregular rain storms will accumulate water that then passes through these narrow crevices.  Over time the slot canyons can grow wider and more deep. The Bryce Canyon region of Utah receives very little moisture on an annual basis and this means the soil is not used to absorbing water. When rain comes or when snow melts quickly the water can accumulate quickly and this means it will follow the path of least resistance.   This fast gathering of liquid can cause a flash flood and water levels can reach 40 feet or higher inside a slot canyon.   It’s not just water that comes rushing through a slot canyon, but rocks, wood and debris come with it.   If this sounds dangerous, it is.   A flash flood is a rare occurrence but it is wise, and even restricted, to enter a slot canyon on a bad weather day. On a good day, a slot canyon can present you with one of the most unique and intriguing experiences of your life.   We tell you all of this, because we want you to be safe and have a great experience.   Another thing to be aware of, is that water can accumulate in the dark recesses of a slot canyon.  Depending on the depth of the canyon the sun may not reach these dark pockets of water and the temperatures of the water, even in summer, can be quite cold.   So it is important to know where you are going and what obstacles you will face.  Some slot canyons are short and quite shallow, and these will be the easiest and safest to navigate.  The longer and deeper the slot canyon, the more the preparation and gear required for s safe and enjoyable experience.   Rappelling gear, wet-suits or dry-suits, proper footwear, sufficient food and water, and other supplies/gear should all be carefully considered for a technical slot canyon experience. Area Slot Canyons. One of the best places in the Bryce Canyon area to find slot canyons is southeast of the town of Escalante, along the Hole In The Rock road, within the Escalante Grand Staircase National Monument. Here you’ll come across slot canyons with names such as Egypt, Peekaboo, Spooky, Coyote Gulch, and more.   Other slot canyons are found south of Kodachrome Basin State Park.  To find out more specific information about these slot canyons you can visit the information center in Escalante or do more research online.  – Find more info here. – – –

Categories: Canyoneering Hiking Slot Canyons